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182                                    VE&DICT  OX INDIA
India, like Mohammed bin Qu&im and rulers like Aurungzeb, as
their national heroes/
Yes, both Hindus and Muslims have a ' rich heritage of memories/
but they are all memories of hate.
Moreover, these memories are not only in the past but very
much in the present. It is often asserted that the ideal of Pakistan
is a mushroom growth, that hitherto Muslims and Hindus have
managed to live together, however uneasily, and that therefore
this summary divorce is too drastic a measure.   This argument
ignores the facts of contemporary history.   It is true that in the
past the Hindus and the Muslims have refrained, however re-
luctantly, from mass murder and have contented themselves with
incessant guerrilla warefare. It is also true that as long as Britain
was responsible for law and order, this state of affairs might have
continued indefinitely.   But with the approach of national inde-
pendence, communalism has flared up in a spectacular manner..
in fact, the de/nandfor Pakistan has increased in precise ratio to the
granting of self-government. Why is this ?  The reason is indisput-
able.   It is because self-government has meant very largely Hindu
governments and the Hindus, as soon as they obtained power in
any shape or form, proceeded to abuse it.   They gave the Muslims
the bitterest possible foretaste of the fate they must expect, if and
when the British leave India.
The facts were as follows : By the act of 1935 representative self-
government on a free electoral basis was established in eleven
provinces. We need not confuse ourselves with the details of the
Act; it is sufficient to observe that though there were certain
necessary safeguards, it was a tremendous step forward. The Act
provides a perfect 'nursery* for a young nation on the threshold of
independence ; the institutions it created should have been ideally
suited for the purpose of fitting Indian politicians for complete
and unfettered responsibility.
The Act received the royal assent on August 2nd, 1935 ; elec-
tions for the new legislatures were held in the winter of 1936-37;
Congress found itself in a large majorit}^ in seven out of the eleven
provinces. As soon as it was in power in these provinces, it dropped
the mask. Instead of inviting the Muslims to share the fruits of
office, instead of attempting any form of coalition, it rigidly ex*